What's The Buzz

What's The Buzz

Wind power may hike Co2 emissions

Wind turbines may actually be producing more carbon emissions than modern gas stations, a think tank has claimed.

Wind turbines only produce energy around 30 per cent of the time. When the wind is not blowing - or even blowing too fast as in the recent storms - other sources of electricity have to be used, mostly gas and coal, the Telegraph reported.

However it takes a surge of electricity to power up the fossil fuel stations every time they are needed, implying that more carbon emissions are released, according to think tank Civitas.

 “You keep having to switch these gas fired power stations on and off, whereas if you just have highly efficient modern gas turbines and let it run all the time, it will use less gas,” said Ruth Lea, an economic adviser to Arbuthnot Banking Group and the author of the Civitas report.

“If you use less gas in a highly efficient gas turbine you use less carbon dioxide than having wind backed up by gas.”

 The Dutch report by retired physicist Dr C le Pair, also points to the carbon emissions produced in building wind farms that last for a comparatively short period of time than conventional power stations.

Soon, contact lens to monitor blood sugar
Researchers are now developing electronic contact lenses with a glucose sensor that can monitor blood sugar levels wirelessly.

 The initiative by Microsoft Research and the University of Washington, would be a big help to people with Type I diabetes patients, who must keep a check on their blood sugar on a daily basis by actually drawing blood several times a day.

 Although tear film can show blood sugar levels but getting it from the eye is extremely difficult.

 A contact lens designed to analyze enzymes from glucose in tears could solve that problem.

 “Professor Zhang’s lab has been largely using nanostructured optical probes embedded in hydrophilic hydrogen lenses, and they've had some successes recently,” said Microsoft Researcher Desney Tan. “As the enzyme interacts with the tear fluid, specific measurements are made by observing the change in current measured by bio-compatible electrodes on the contact lens,” Tan added.

Music to help brain-damaged patients walk again
Music-based therapy may play a role in helping brain-damaged patients heal as songs can help create new speech pathways in the brain that evade damaged regions, researchers say. But scientists are still in anticipation of solid data to prove what seems to work in case study after case study.

“It used to be thought that music was a superfluous thing, and no one understood why it developed from an evolutionary standpoint,” Discover News quoted Michael De Georgia, director of the Center for Music and Medicine at Case Western Reserve University’s University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland as saying.

 “In the last 10 years, we’ve just started to understand how broad and diffuse the effect of music is on all parts of the brain.

“We are just starting to understand how powerful music can be. We don’t know what the limits are.”

 Scientists are still working out the details of how this kind of therapy works. But one likely explanation is that music is represented in many areas of the brain, while just two brain regions process language. Music also tends to dig deeper, more well-worn pathways between neurons.

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